Apr. 11—For more than 45 years, the Permian Basin Rehab Center has hosted an annual Telethon to help raise funds to help provide crucial therapy services to patients.
Every year since the first Telethon, the PBRC has been thankful for the support from donors in the Odessa and Midland communities.
The fundraiser, in which the PBRC teams up with Newswest9, is held each spring.
This year's telethon broadcast will take place from 6:30-10 p.m. April 15 and 2-5:30 p.m. April 16 and can be viewed on Newswest9.
Telethon gives PBRC a chance to share the stories of its patients and thank the donors who help make it all possible.
The event helps the center provide services including physical therapy, speech-language pathology, audiology and occupational therapy.
This year's telethon will take place at Odessa Christian Faith Center.
"Each year, we have looked to find a venue that's large enough to host us," PBRC Director of Communications Shannon Adams said. "We've had some great partnerships with other places in the past and this year, we just had to look for something new. The OCFC has been really generous. Their staff has been extremely supportive. It's a beautiful facility and we're just counting ourselves blessed that they've joined the cause and are willing to help raise money for our patients."
Over the years, the telethon has evolved.
It began as a 24-hour, overnight event.
"Times have changed," Adams said. "It's now two days. We partner with Newswest9 to do the production and the live streaming."
Several groups and organizations from around the area help out with providing entertainment during the telethon.
This year's event will feature En Croix Dance Academy, the Permian Panther Paws, country musician Tommy Tarango and Christian Faith Center's own worship and praise band.
Each year, the PBRC selects one of its patients to be the Patient Representative who is given the honor of lighting the Community Christmas Tree at Optimist Park in December as well as being featured at the Telethon.
This year's Patient Representative is Jace Rodriguez, who has been taking therapy sessions at the PBRC every week for over three years now for his speech and occupational therapies.
Rodriguez and four other patients from PBRC will be featured and have their stories told at the telethon.
"Rodriguez is excited," Adams said. "He's kind of being dubbed 'Mr. PBRC' right now so we're just super excited to have him and his family as well as the other patients. We have five patient stories total so Jace is featured and we have an adult patient that we try to include each year.
While the PBRC is primarily pediatrics, Adams said the center does treat adults and that's important that the community knows that.
"If an adult needs therapeutic services, they're welcomed here as well," Adams said. "It's about sharing the triumphs of our patients and sharing our mission as well as thanking our donors who give throughout the year. If it wasn't for the generous hearts of Odessa and midland communities, we wouldn't be able to do what we do."
Last year's Telethon raised $1.4 million for the PBRC.
Unsurprisingly, the goal this year is to just beat the previous year's total.
"It's human nature," Adams said. "We always want to beat last year's goal and the year before and so on. It always seems to work out. Ultimately, the more money we raise, the more therapy sessions and more services we can offer patients in Odessa, Midland and the surrounding counties. That's the goal. The mission of the center is to provide compassionate, therapeutic services to anybody, regardless of their ability to pay. The more we can raise from Telethon, the more services we can offer."
For more information about the Telethon or to donate to the PBRC, go to https://tinyurl.com/3bmpv2ep.